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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old July 11, 2016   #1
zipcode
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Default Problem with very compact soil

So a friend has a very compact soil. An I do mean compact. But it's not what I would call clay, its color is kinda dark grey with pieces of black in it.
You know those black muds that you can find near waters, really 'greasy' and with a sulfury smell? This looks like that stuff but hardened (not all as black). And it has the same smell when dug. It's so ridiculously compact that without serious work, money and time I don't think it could be mixed with compost or something to make it normal (so pretty much out of the question).
So my question is if it is any good for growing stuff, and what would be most suitable? Besides the obvious fact that it is very compact, is it any good nutrient wise? Shouldn't the black stuff be organic matter?
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Old July 11, 2016   #2
brownrexx
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I think that those slippery muds that you describe are actually that way because they contain lots of really tiny particles of clay that slide over each other.

That type of soil also excludes oxygen so it may be very difficult to get anything to grow in it. Lots of soil amendment with organic material to fluff it up is the only answer that I know of.
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Old July 11, 2016   #3
My Foot Smells
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how far were you able to dig down?

sometimes when you punch through the top 6", another soil substructure lies beneath. I've got rock hard clay that you cannot drive a nail through once it firms up, however, during rainy stretches it gets slick as owl shat. water stands on top and looks like topography of state of Minnesota (land of lakes).

I have to go raised beds.
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Old July 11, 2016   #4
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Isn't that what Ohio is made of?
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Old July 11, 2016   #5
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I haven't dug all that much, but I guess 6 inches I did dig and it was the same. It has the problem of some smaller rocks mixed in, which makes digging a real pleasure. The top soil is fairly normal, brown soil, seemed ok at first, but it was only a layer of a few centimeters.
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Old July 11, 2016   #6
guruofgardens
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I agree with My Foot Smells. Sounds like building raised beds would be the best for your vegetables. You may have to build really deep ones.
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Old July 12, 2016   #7
cjp1953
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Originally Posted by Nematode View Post
Isn't that what Ohio is made of?
Some parts of Ohio have clay,others have rich farmland soil.Depends on your location.You see many corn,wheat and soybean fields across Ohio.
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Old July 12, 2016   #8
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Quote:
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Some parts of Ohio have clay,others have rich farmland soil.Depends on your location.You see many corn,wheat and soybean fields across Ohio.
Lots of good ground in... Ay, oh, way to go, Ohio.
Sorry when I see Cuyahoga Falls I hear the Pretenders...
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Old July 12, 2016   #9
cjp1953
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Lots of good ground in... Ay, oh, way to go, Ohio.
Sorry when I see Cuyahoga Falls I hear the Pretenders...
Chrissie Hyne sorry if the spelling is wrong went to Firestone High School in Akron about 5 miles from here.I went to Akron North.We're about the same age.I remember her but was never a big fan.
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